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Travelling to the UK: "Don't go there!

 
 
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 10:59 am
From today's Guardian, pages 54, 55, 56 and 57:

Don't go there!
The new Rough Guide to Britain Stonehenge, Wiltshire

http://i6.tinypic.com/1580zkg.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,241 • Replies: 22
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:00 am
Tate Modern, London

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:01 am
John O'Groats, Scotland

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Luke Waterson

The most north-easterly point of Britain is difficult to get to and, when you get there, it's hard to feel it was really worth the bother. Mile after mile of peat bog brings you to scatterings of grey and white houses standing upon yet more peat bog, but with the extra delight of grey North Sea rollers to gaze upon.

There's a shopping arcade, a sign telling you how far you are from anywhere interesting, and the First and Last House, a hut selling postcards showing the village in hard-to-imagine sunlight. And that's about it. On the upside, it's not as tacky as Land's End. But then at least Land's End sometimes has good weather.

Once you've been photographed by the sign, the best thing to do is to quickly hop on the passenger ferry to Orkney, and put the whole experience behind you.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:02 am
London Eye, London

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:02 am
The Tales of Robin Hood, Nottingham

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:03 am
Eden Project, Cornwall

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:04 am
Edinburgh Castle

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:04 am
Haworth, West Yorkshire

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:05 am
Madame Tussauds, London

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Tim Dowling

I went to Madame Tussauds once in 1998, after I read that Augusto Pinochet always visited the famous wax museum whenever he came to London to buy arms. I had often seen the huge queues which seemed to be perpetually wrapped around the building, but on this particular afternoon it wasn't that busy. It seemed like a fun way to get inside the head of a murderous dictator.

Inside I found a group of eastern Europeans staring in perfect perplexity at a statue of Chris Evans. My bemusement more or less matched theirs. I wandered along the heavily trafficked carpet, looking at frozen TV celebs and world leaders and thinking, why does Pinochet like it here? Every tourist in the place wore the wan smile of someone gamely trying not to feel swindled.

It's hard to describe what's so horrible about Madam Tussauds. It's not just the stupidity of paying to see a waxen Tom Cruise, but the indignity of having to wait your turn. Not long ago I agreed to take my eldest son there, but when I saw the queue and the prices (a child's ticket is £18.99), I abandoned the idea and took him to the Soane Museum instead, which I loved and he hated, which is how it should be.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:05 am
Hampton Court, London

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:06 am
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Wales

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:06 am
Blackpool illuminations

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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:07 am
Stonehenge, Madame Tussauds, Blackpool - I couldn't agree more :wink:
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:14 am
I haven't been to any of these places so I can't comment beyond saying that I really enjoyed reading each of these tales of tourist woe.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:24 am
Walter, you are such a subversive . . .
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:28 am
That's a great compliment, Set, thanks - but honour to whom honour is due: thanks to the Guardian :wink:
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:33 am
And thanks to Rough Guides..

I enjoyed all the comments, chuckled my way through the list..
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:44 am
Thank you, Walter. I thoroughly agree that tourists should avoid the UK at all costs, especially in hot sunny weather when one wants to have a quiet stroll in the park, drive on empty roads or buy an ice cream.

If you DO insist on coming to the UK, please go and visit Glasgow or Edinburh, as they need the money and are very kind and welcoming.
Some parts of Scotland even have electricity, telephone and indoor toilets, so I hear.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:44 am
agree with Walter about Stonehenge. haven't experienced the others, but now i'm glad i passed up the London Eye. :wink: Tussaud's, i never even considered visiting.
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jun, 2006 11:52 am
In all seriousness, I would just say that rip off tourist traps are rip off tourist traps, whatever country one may be visiting.

Personally, I avoid these things like the plague (apart from Hampton Court, as I think it's a great place).
A wise tourist will always do their research thoroughly, and head for unusual places that are off the beaten track. I know I do when visiting abroad.
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